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To practise running in support.


One ball, 4–6 hit shields.


12–16 players.


Half field.


A backline (seven players) starts with the ball on the corner of the halfway and sideline. A team of backs (five players) with shields is opposite.


  1. The idea is for all passes to be thrown in the one direction across the field.
  2. On hitting a hit shield the ball-carrier has the option to give a pass immediately or to set-up for a rip.
  3. If the player sets up for a rip, the ripper drives in and passes immediately to players coming in support.
  4. Support players should come in from depth and support close to the ball.
  5. If a break is made, the ball-carrier should pull up quickly and set-up for a rip while the hit shield-carriers realign.
  6. The drill continues until a try is scored.


• Encourage players to take the gaps if they are there.
• If there are no gaps, encourage the players to run straight at the shields.
• Shield holders should work to realign quickly and to prevent attackers from making breaks. Because shield holders are fewer than the attackers, communication is the key to keeping the attackers out.
• The direction of passing can only be reversed if the attackers reach the sideline.

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